A good friend asked:
Do you think that abortion and capital punishment are equally bad? I think that capital punishment, if we could not properly imprison a dangerous criminal, would be justified.
Okay, this is a sticky question, so first let’s set some precedents.
- Firstly, God is creator and He loves His creation infinitely.
Nothing that His creation does can reduce, or change that love.
So God loves the unborn child, just as much as He loves the serial-murderer.
- Secondly, God is infinitely just, and being the Creator knows His creation perfectly, hence He knows what is perfectly good for His creation. Those things that are perfectly good for us, His creations, are the Laws. Prefigured in the Old Testament Laws, and confirmed and clarified by God Himself in the incarnate Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity – our Divine Redeemer Jesus Christ – and recorded in the New Testament.
- Thirdly, God in His infinite Love created us free. However, if we do something which is bad for us, that has consequences.
Having set those principles, let’s break the question down.
- The subject of Abortion is a human being incapable of defending itself. That human being did not originate from itself, or by pure human means, but by a singular act of Love by the Divine Creator.
- The subject of Capital Punishment is a human being incapable of defending itself. That human being did not originate from itself, or by pure human means, but also by a singular act of Love by the Divine Creator.
- The action of Abortion, is the killing of that human being by other human beings (directly or indirectly).
- The action of Capital Punishment, is the killing of that human being by other human beings (directly or indirectly).
The difference between Abortion and Capital Punishment, is that some people think that the victim of abortion is not guilty of wrongdoing and therefore does not warrant the death sentence. These same people think that the victim of Capital Punishment is guilty of wrongdoing and therefore does warrant the death sentence.
The problem for these people, is that it is impossible to reconcile this opinion, with the actual Gospel records. According to the Old Law, adultery was a crime punishable by Capital Punishment, death. Christ was presented with a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery, and Christ did not cast a stone.
He also taught His disciples (not just His Apostles), to do the same.
The question is then, what would Jesus do? What would Jesus do with a maniacal serial killer?
He’d shoot him in the head. He’d inject him with salt solution. He’d pull the lever to electrocute him.
Sound like the Lamb of God to you? Sound like Someone who is described as All Loving? Does it remotely sound like the God that we adore or would want to adore?
Not to me.
Infanticide is a horrendous crime, and made all the worse to us because we perceive the innocence of the child.
Homicide is a horrendous crime, but sometimes the horror of that to us, is mitigated, because we perceive it as “just” or “the right thing to do”.
Those perceptions are not the same to the Author of Life. By His living example He murdered no one, not even those who “deserved” to die. He is the Way, not our perceptions, nor what the world tells us is “the right thing to do”.
He never gives up hope.
Do I think that abortion and capital punishment are equally bad? I think homicide is always and in every case an unjustifiable and grave evil. The perpetrator of the crime, be it a medical professional, or the government by proxy, are always and equally guilty of that crime, regardless of motives.
The excuse of “if we could not properly imprison a dangerous criminal” is untenable. There is always a way to imprison or deal with a dangerous criminal in a way which does not involve homicide. Just ask yourself “what would Jesus do?” and then if your fresh out of inspirations go ask Him yourself in Adoration. The one place, where He Who Is, shows the whole world, Who is the most vulnerable – “will you kill this man Lord?”.
My position is just that of the Gospels. It is very, very, very hard for me, fallen human being, to accept and comply with this position. But by God’s grace, I can use my intellect and will to consent to this.
Despite, the difficulty, I do.
Please listen to the following audio files for outstanding responses to classic Questions and Answers regarding Gospel Non-Violence:
- Cleansing of The Temple
- What if Someone Is Going to Kill your Wife or Children?
- Just War/Just Revolution Theory
- Violence in the Old Testament
- Christians in the Military/Police
- Surely this Is a Purist Gospel?
- What about Hitler?
- Buy a Sword? Luke 22:35-38